CFOs Say Many Employees Will Stick With Remote Work

Home Office

A number of HR leaders have speculated that employers’ attitudes toward remote work will have changed permanently once the COVID-19 pandemic ends. New research shows that thinking’s warranted.

Some three-quarters of CFOs—74 percent—plan to shift at least 5 percent of their employees to remote work, according to Gartner. Nearly a quarter said they will move 20 percent or more of their workers to remote positions.

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“This data is an example of the lasting impact the current coronavirus crisis will have on the way companies do business,” said Alexander Bant, practice vice president, research, for the Gartner Finance Practice. Financial executives, he noted, “clearly sense an opportunity to realize the cost benefits of a remote workforce.”

Embracing remote work is just one way finance leaders are pursuing cost savings in order to avoid workforce reductions and minimize the pandemic’s impact on operations. Previously, CFOs told Gartner that they were also adopting more flexible work schedules and providing the equipment employees need to work from home.

Remote Work Goes Structural

Bant said that most CFOs recognize “technology and society have evolved to make remote work more viable for a wider variety of positions than ever before.” In fact, 90 percent of them told Gartner separately that they expect their accounting process to continue with minimal disruption, even though almost all work was being done off-site.

Other steps CFOs are considering include:

  • Canceling merit increases for the year.
  • Offering optional part-time work arrangements.
  • Reducing the work week to four days.
  • Reducing or eliminating the executive team’s salaries.

The shift toward remote work seems to sure to affect more than workforce expenses. For one thing, 20 percent of the CFOs said they’ve deferred on-premise technology spend, and another 12 percent plan to do so.  

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